Stories for May 2006

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Wednesday, May 31

Reception planned for artists' exhibit

CornerBank has a new exhibit titled "Abstract By Design," featuring the mostly abstract works of John Bennington and Sue Suhler, which will run through July 3. A public reception for the artists will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the bank, 4621 W. Sixth St.

Tuesday, May 30

The New Review System

I've decided to go with a more traditional 10-point review system, but keep the categories that we've established here at L-com. All categories (with the exception of Overall) will be a decimal between 0 and 10, rounded to a .5 or .0. The Overall score doesn't have to be rounded, and is not an average of the other categories.

Monday, May 29

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Review: Over the Hedge (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox)

Over the Hedge doesn't really offer anything new or particularly entertaining for the experienced and/or older gamer. However, it's far better than I'd expect considering it's aimed at kids and based on a film.

Review: Monster Hunter Freedom (PSP)

Monster Hunter: Freedom continues on the course set by its predecessors. It's an extremely niche game whose (limited) success is based on the dedication of the online community it established, not groundbreaking gameplay or a deep, meaningful storyline.

Sunday, May 28

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Review: X-Men (X360, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox)

The X-Men franchise has been represented with varying levels of quality in the videogame industry. There have been a couple great titles (the old arcade game, X-Men Legends) and a host of disappointing ones that feel rushed and/or unfinished. Unfortunately, X-Men: The Official Game falls into the latter category.

Better singers, better people

Retiring FSHS choral director known for cultivating talent, citizenship

If ever there were proof that Free State High School choral music director Pam Bushouse is one of the most beloved teachers in the district, it might be this: Junior football lineman Caleb Stephens says, if forced to choose, he'd give up his gridiron career in a heartbeat to sing in her choir.

All-American bandstand

South Park gazebo - home to City Band concerts, weddings and community gatherings - marks its 100th anniversary

When Lawrence residents pitched in to build a $600 bandstand in South Park, the Daily World newspaper marked the occasion with a short story.

Poet's showcase

'Page 2B' by Ray Finch

Lithographs on display

A collection of rare, original Currier & Ives lithographs are on display through June at Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

Saturday, May 27

State rules The Hawk may lose alcohol license

Owners of The Hawk, a historic campus area bar, will lose their alcohol license in about a week if they don't appeal a recent state ruling against them.

Art tease

Here's a sneak peek at the newest public art in Lawrence. Your mission: Hit the streets and find it.

Lawrence artist Bounnak Thammavong wants to make pretty sculptures. Pieces that catch your eye, make you stop and look. Tempt you to walk around them, consider what he had in mind when he sculpted them.

Friday, May 26

Less uncanny "X-Men: The Last Stand" still entertaining

Having fought atop the Statue of Liberty and inside the White House in the first two "X-Men" movies, it is fitting that the climactic battle scene of "X-Men: The Last Stand" takes place at another American landmark - Alcatraz. The legendary former prison serves not only as another iconic image for the series, but also as a metaphor for what will happen to the mutants of the world, should they take a new "cure" that strips them of their unique powers.

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Review: X-Men (DS)

The game is very short, and can be beaten in one sitting if you have the patience to deal with it. I appreciate when developers attempt to find new ways to utilize the DS hardware, but this is not the way to do it. I'd much rather attack enemies in the traditional way than simply tap them with a stylus every two seconds.

War film role a challenge for 50 Cent

Hollywood isn't waiting around for the Iraq war to end before making movies about the conflict.

Lawrence ArtWalk issues call for artists

Fine artists are invited to participate in this year's Lawrence ArtWalk, the annual self-guided tour of Lawrence artists' studios and other art spaces.

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Geek beats

'Nerdcore' music style gaining popularity with the uncool kids

Whereas most rappers favor topics that paint vivid pictures of neighborhood violence or brag about newfound riches, Damian Hess is more comfortable talking about lightsabers or hard drive crashes.

X-Men withstand mutant threat, new director

Despite the title of "X-Men: The Last Stand," the movie is essentially "X-Men 3."

'X-Men' director confronts fan expectations

Forget movie critics. There may be no more unforgiving, opinionated and passionate film audience than the one in cyberspace - the fans, the obsessives and the self-proclaimed geeks who hang out in Internet discussion forums commenting on every casting decision, every script rewrite and every shred of pre-release advertising material for movies that haven't even been made yet.

Thursday, May 25

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Review: Rampage Total Destruction (PS2)

Even as a fresh, new game, the original title got stale after a few hours - so you can imagine how quickly you'll get tired of a latest installment which offers no significant improvements

KU grad becomes decorating diva

After brother's sudden death, talent agent parlays stylish intuition into new career

Mi-Ling Stone Poole's decorating career began when she added a little Asian flair to a plain Lawrence apartment.

Wednesday, May 24

Liberty Hall to cater to youth

End-of-year bash to help establish new program

Kansas University graduates walk down the Hill. High school seniors have Project Graduation.

Tuesday, May 23

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The good fight

Tonganoxie teen to premiere film and raise funds for cystic fibrosis

In the soon-to-premiere film "Indiana Bum and the Pamphlet of the Dead," 14-year-old actor Tracy Bowersox portrays a crime-fighting archaeologist who rides a stick horse. In one action-packed scene, the bumbling protagonist sprints alongside a thief's car as it careens down a dirt road. He wears a bandana to establish his vigilante character - and also to protect against the mold that could irritate his cystic fibrosis.

For those about to drink, we saloon you!

The Grainery Saloon serves Perry Lake vacationers and more

The Grainery Saloon doesn't exactly occupy the ideal business location. The road dead-ends into a lake. The town of Ozawkie has about 500 people - with a choice of four bars. Needless to say, it's the customer service that keeps 'em coming back.

Style Scout: Audri Brantley and Cameron Case

Audri Brantley and Cameron Case

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Coming Up Roses

The Roseline unveil debut album "A Wall Behind It"

Great things take time - fortunately, Colin Pepper Halliburton is a patient guy. After receiving an acoustic guitar for his 21st birthday, he set to authoring an extensive catalog of songs and this year began playing out as The Roseline

Here's your chance to be in a movie

Want to be in a movie? Through A Glass Productions is shooting a concert scene for a 35mm feature-length musical film called "Air." Kansas City band The Architects will be performing in the scene, and the filmmakers are looking for a crowd to rock out at the show. There will be food, door prizes and, obviously, live music. The taping will be from 6 p.m. to midnight today at the Beaumont Club, 4050 Pennsylvania, in Kansas City, Mo. Those who attend are asked to wear clothes without logos.

Monday, May 22

Proper prep keeps you limber longer

Now that warm weather is finally visiting Kansas, it's important for people to learn how to warm up - when exercising, that is.

Disappearing ink

Some lament the lost art of putting pen to paper. Others say we're more literate than ever.

Susan Lomshek has her third-grade students write notes to pen pals every couple of weeks. No e-mails accepted here.

Sunday, May 21

Book clubs

Poet's showcase

"Reversal of Fortune," by Juliana Harris

'Man of My Dreams' honestly portrays dating, sex, marriage

Hannah Gavener is 14 when her emotionally abusive father turns her, her sister and their mother out of their home.

Saturday, May 20

KU senior artists inspired by personal experiences

Sam Bennett is fascinated with the life of cells. Captivated by their migration, she's transformed her art into a vivid textile journey of the changing cell and the cancerous invasion that can occur in the body.

Brassy meets grassy

Bold lawn ornaments addictive for gardeners with taste for kitsch

It seemed innocent enough. After all, it was just a tan rock. Cheryl Lowrance bought the small boulder for $6 at an auction. She used a jean jacket as a sling to carry it to Butch, her rusty Datsun pickup. From there, it was back to her mobile home, where the rock served as decoration outdoors.

Friday, May 19

The Da Vinci Code' a dreary hunt with no treasure

With its tense action, cliffhanger chapters, and simple prose, it has been written that Dan Brown's obscenely popular bestselling novel "The Da Vinci Code" reads just like a movie. If that is the case, then somebody forgot to tell Oscar-winning director Ron Howard.

Endless summer

Kansas festivals provide diverse activities and entertainment

There's no need to wonder what YOU are gonna do in Kansas this summer.

'Hedge' looks like a familiar creature

"Over the Hedge," the latest star-studded, computer-animated, talking-animal extravaganza, is an indictment of the same sort of suburban overconsumption that the film encourages through its marketing.

'Da Vinci Code' too mainstream to be mysterious, controversial

The very fact that there are certain groups who don't want audiences to watch a movie is usually reason enough to go see it.

Thursday, May 18

'Da Vinci Code' too mainstream to be mysterious

As far as a battle of religion vs. pop culture goes, this is in the class of Ali vs. Foreman.

Retired KU professor to receive award

Roger Shimomura, a Kansas University distinguished professor emeritus of art, will be honored today at the Celebration of Distinction Annual Award Dinner at the University of Washington, Seattle, as one of four recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Wednesday, May 17

John Brown exhibit kicks off this month

Jacob Lawrence's "John Brown Series" will be on display from May 22 to June 19 at the Holt-Russell Gallery in Parmenter Hall. The official opening reception will be at 2 p.m. May 28.

Monday, May 15

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Rage in the cage

Mixed Martial Arts fighters seek credibility for their burgeoning sport

When Robert Riley steps inside the cage for his first official Mixed Martial Arts match on June 10, his opponent could outweigh him by five to 10 pounds and have a completely different set of skills.

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Mud Man

Lawrence hobbyist returns to pioneer aesthetic with natural building materials

Michael Crouch's home in North Lawrence reveals a man who loves to play in the mud.

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Glore-ious Mayhem

The Most Insane Reason to Visit St. Joseph

People don't come to the Glore Psychiatric Museum just to see the giant wooden hampster wheel used by mental patients.

Style Scout: Susan Metenosky and Lucas Parde

Susan Metenosky and Lucas Parde

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Story Like A Scar

<em>New</em> New Amsterdams hit the road to support new album

"Story Like a Scar" is honest and revealing, dealing intimately with artistic frustrations and the struggle to balance career with family

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Review: New Super Mario Bros. - DS

Best platformer ever?

You will buy New Super Mario Bros. Not only does it pay homage to its roots, but finds a way to pioneer new angles and revives side-scrolling bliss across the video game universe. It doesn't matter if you're a hardcore gamer or a gamer that current generations forgot, New SMB is for you.

Grad fads

Graduates stand out with creative regalia

Hey, Mitchell White's parents. He has a question. He'd really like to wear his Superman costume under his gown for Lawrence High School's graduation, even though administrators would probably prefer he didn't. He thinks the costume would be appropriate, since he's known for wearing it to LHS basketball games.

KU filmmaker gets Blockbuster treatment with first feature

Jeffrey Phelps never set out to make films in Hollywood. The 1999 Kansas University graduate majored in journalism and advertising. So when he decided to dedicate himself to writing and directing a dramatic feature, his friends were rather surprised ... until they saw his debut, "Special Ed."

Saturday, May 13

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E3: Super Mario Galaxy - Wii

Our impressions of Nintendo's flagship plumber on the revolutionary console

The very first time I laid my hands on the Wii controller, it was to play Super Mario Galaxy. Immediately upon picking up the "wand" and "nunchuck," however, any minor degree of skepticism I might have had was immediately dispelled. I have absolutely no doubts that Super Mario Galaxy will be ranked amongst the great Mario games of all time.

E3: Too Human - 360

Silicon Knight's long-awaited epic looks awesome behind closed doors

With strong philosophical and moral themes underlining the awesome combat and story to Too Human, this is definitely one of the games that I will watch the progress on very closely.

E3: Warhawk - PS3

How does Sony's motion controller function perform?

Unless things change between now and the launch of the PS3, this game is definitely not a good reason to cough up $600+ for a PS3.

E3: Lost Planet - 360

One of Capcom's strongest showings

The firefights are fast and frantic, and explosions are extremely satisfying when you cause one.

E3: Resistance: Fall of Man - PS3

The FPS hopes to make waves on Sony's new console

The games control's were noticeably sluggish, the weapons rather generic, piss poor A.I. and while the graphics looked pretty good on the 50 ft. screen, it was much less impressive up close.

E3: Mario Hoops 3 on 3 - DS

Touch and shoot

This is not a simple Mario makeover of NBA Street, it's a fully fleshed-out and highly entertaining addition to the Nintendo sports titles.

E3: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PS3

Kojima's prized story continues

Like he always does at every major game show, Hideo Kojima has gone above and beyond and released a truly incredible trailer that has served its purpose to get the hardcore MGS community chatting incessantly about the plot of the next installment.

E3: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Wii

Now a full Wii launch title, how does it translate to the wand?

Swordfights are as entertaining as ever and are helped by Link's spin attack being performed by spinning the controller in a circle. This is the game that we've been waiting for since 1998. This is the true spiritual successor to Ocarina of Time.

E3: Gears of War - 360

Does it live up to the hype?

I'll admit to having some skepticism about this title going into E3. I remember hearing hype about it ever since the terrible MTV unveiling of the 360. But now Gears of War has quickly jumped to the top of my "must have" games list for the Xbox 360.

E3: Guitar Hero II - PS2

More guitar shreddin' goodness.

Guitar Hero II is another one of those games that I will be hurting for until its release later this year.

E3: Gitaroo Man Lives - PS2

The cult hit returns...for the better?

I immediately realized it was a simple port of the PS2 rhythm game. Boo.

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The Gospel according to Hollywood

Religious movies bring faith into popular imagination

When the Rev. Darrel Proffitt wanted to talk about self-sufficiency for his Easter sermon, he showed a video clip from "Titanic."

Friday, May 12

Personalities are lost at sea in 'Poseidon'

Nobody called "Titanic" a remake of "A Night to Remember." So it's rather unfair to call "Poseidon" a remake of 1972's "The Poseidon Adventure." Yes, it's the same ship, same tidal wave and same topsy-turvy result.

Disaster strikes

Actors dive headfirst into danger

"I never compare what we do to real-life work, but at times this was like going to work on an oil rig," says "Poseidon" lead Josh Lucas. "It was very dangerous, very uncomfortable and scary. It was as challenging as work gets."

'Hobbit' crew hatches dragon

By Tuesday afternoon, the dragon had pretty much taken over the commons area at Bishop Seabury Academy.

Depeche Mode cancels Chicago show after cutting short concert in K.C.

Depeche Mode canceled its concert Thursday in Chicago because lead singer Dave Gahan is suffering from laryngitis, the band's publicist said.

Thursday, May 11

'Nosy old lady who writes' takes on cowboys, hellions

Sureva Towler has a reputation around Steamboat Springs, Colo. "I'm the nosy old lady who writes," the 73-year-old says proudly. "I know who all the culprits are, and I drink with a lot of them."

Looking back on the dance

Readers recall prom dates who disappeared, showed up just in time - and some who stuck around forever

Prom night has come and gone at area schools, but the memories are still fresh.

Wednesday, May 10

Film producers seek Kansas City A's garb

Kansas City natives Linda Haskins, owner of the Lawrence-based production company Take Ten, Inc., and former public broadcaster Dave Pomeroy of Topeka are seeking personal stories and commentary, film footage and memorabilia related to the Kansas City Athletics.

Author to discuss Kansas wildflowers

Michael Haddock grew up in north-central Kansas in the small town of Beloit, and he gravitated toward the Kansas landscape as a young boy farming with his father.

Author still waiting for Hollywood to put his novel on big screen

A miraculous blood offers immortality. The subject made a good science fiction book. Now Kansas University professor James Gunn, who turned the idea into the 1962 science fiction novel "The Immortals," is waiting for his brainchild to hit the big screen. But Gunn is learning that with Hollywood, it can be a long wait.

Monday, May 8

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Mission controlled

Lawrence funkmeisters Apollo 13 release second full-length 'Lovebomb'

Mixing modern rock and electronica in equal measure, Apollo 13 answers the eternally burning question: What would it sound like if Lenny Kravitz collaborated with The Chemical Brothers?

The Mouth of McLouth

Bartlett's Fried Chicken does it like you wish you could do it

Karen Bartlett could use a nap. Day after day the hungry Bartlett disciples come - from St. Joseph, Atchison, Topeka, Valley Falls, Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee, Mission, Parkville and who-knows-where-else. They come in 50-strong Christian biker packs and they come in cuddly college couples. They come for birthdays and they come for funerals.

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Diamond Nights

Dave Diamond brings Neil Diamond's 'Beautiful Noise' to Lawrence

Wichita is a Damm town. Damm Music Center. Damm Pharmacy. Damm Body Shop. Now, the Damm family can add another chapter to its storied history: The Damm Neil Diamond impersonator.

Style Scout: Alex Ashmore and Bridget Franklin

Alex Ashmore and Bridget Franklin

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Review: Metal Gear Acid 2 (PSP)

With Acid 2, players at least know what they're getting into for better or worse. The sequel improves on its predecessor in both the gameplay and presentation departments. While it's sure to piss off the hardcore MGS crowd, there's a rewarding, albeit at times frustrating, game here for anyone who doesn't take the series or themselves too seriously.

Physics, theater collide in KU student's play

People always ask how Larissa Ejzak got to this point. They want to know how she can live in a place where complex scientific theory and artistic theater coexist.

National Geographic memories

From NASA to life's origins, writer left imprint on legendary magazine

Ken Weaver is a writer whose stories have gone as high as the moon, as far back as the very origins of mankind and all the way to the bottom of the world.

Saturday, May 6

Review: KU cast stages feisty 'Figaro'

There are many reasons Mozart's come-uppance romantic comedy "The Marriage of Figaro" has stood the test of time, not the least of which is its social commentary.

Friday, May 5

Abrams, Hoffman save 'Mission: Impossible III' from self-destructing

Often I stress that there are movies that need to be experienced in the theaters, and this is one of them. Abrams keeps the CGI effects to a minimum (except for one unfortunate plane sequence) and piles on the superhuman stunts.

Art a la Carte

The 940 dance company ends its season this weekend with a bang - literally. Artistic director Susan Warden's newest piece, a fast-paced work titled "BANG," will conclude the New Works Concert. The program also includes four new dances by members of the troupe. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center.

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Tomb Raider: Legend - PS2, Xbox

Lara returns to her previous glory

After the abysmal Angel of Darkness, Eidos has resurrected the series and presented gamers with its best title yet.

'Mission: Impossible' series hits its peak

There's no reason to pretend otherwise: I'm just as sick of Tom Cruise as the rest of humanity. I don't want to hear about any more of his escapades, his marriage, his baby, his "religion."

The summer movie lineup

June 21 may be the official start of summer, but today's release of "Mission: Impossible III" signals the official start of the summer movie season. And it's got to be better than last summer, right?

Lied Center lineup unveiled

Lied Center supporters displayed some hometown favoritism on Thursday when staff members revealed the center's acts for the 2006-07 season.

Wakarusa organizers prepare for expanded festival

Big, bigger, biggest. Now preparing for its third year, the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival (June 8-11) is expanding in every which way - from five stages to seven stages, and up from 50 acts to a whopping 150.

Thursday, May 4

Partiers take note: Police presence at Wakarusa Fest to double this year

Illegal drugs might not flow as freely this summer at the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, scheduled for June 8-11 at Clinton State Park.

Monday, May 1

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Jogging for Jubilee

KU grad student to raise $3,000 for local kitchen and/or run a long, long, long, long, long, long time

What does the Jubilee Cafe have in common with ultra-marathon running?

Style Scout: Rob Pope and Jennifer Lea

Rob Pope and Jennifer Lea

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5 bands enter, 1 band leaves

(and then, of course, you'll have to leave as well) <em>or</em> lawrence.com's guide to the event that we, like, totally created*

If music were a competitive sport, these five athletes would carry Lawrence's Olympic torch

Booze brothers

Despite Prohibition, creative Lawrence drinkers siphoned steady supply of bootlegged liquor from secret suppliers

Cliff McDonald once loaned $100 to a friend so he could bail his son out of jail. The son's crime: bootlegging.

KU opera commemorated Carry Nation

Kansas University commissioned an opera about saloon-basher Carry Nation to commemorate its centennial in 1966. That opera was performed four times at KU, exactly 40 years ago Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today.